Pike Co. Schools meets with STI official

Published 9:17 pm Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It’s been a bumpy road for most school systems in Alabama during the conversion to I-NOW, but Pike County Schools might be nearing the end of those bumps.

The system met a with Software Technology, Inc. (STI) representative this week, and was able to not only iron out pre-existing problems, but also look ahead to rolling out some of the additional features the I-NOW system, can provide.

“It looks like our training Tuesday was productive,” PCS superintendent Mark Bazzell said.” We had our technology people in working, as well as representatives from each school, so I feel like there were a lot of questions answered in regards to the conversion.”

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Both the parent portal for I-NOW access and the emergency notification system will be officially launched during the week following Labor Day, and Bazzell said making those dates is almost certain.

“We probably could go live before September 7, but that is our new rollout date for some of the additional features, such as the parent portal,” Bazzell said. “We’ll also be conducting a test of the school messenger emergency notification system on Sept. 6, so we feel like we’ll have everything good to go by that point.”

Most of the concerns during the conversion process focused on enrollment issues with the I-NOW system, but Bazzell said those issues are nearly resolved, giving PCS the opportunity to focus on launching the other I-NOW features.

“We feel like we have most of the enrollment issues already worked out, but with the few that are left, I feel like we’ll certainly have those worked out after Labor Day,” Bazzell said.

“That has enabled us to move on to the other functions, such as the parent portal, which is essentially the old STI Home program, where parents will be able to log on and look at things such as discipline, grades and attendance for their students.”

Bazzell said part of the reason for the Sept. 7 launch date is to fall around the time of progress reports for the schools.

“As we get ready to hand out progress reports, we just want parents to know that one way to check a student’s progress is through that online system,” Bazzell said.

The remaining time between Sept. 6-7 and now will be used to clear up the few remaining issues.

“We’re just trying to clean up any last-minute changes that might occur between now and then, but we don’t foresee any major issues,” Bazzell said.

“All in all, we feel pretty good now. We certainly feel better at this point than we did a week or a week and a half ago.”